In a ranking of California’s 13 largest cities, Sacramento’s car accident rate is the highest. The comparative data is for the year 2010, with the numbers for 2011 yet to be compiled.

The city of Los Angeles came right after Sacramento, and cities like San Jose, Fresno, Oakland, and San Francisco all did better. The compiled data compares cities of the same general size and ranks them by the number of traffic deaths and injuries per capita, as well as recording the number of accidents involving bicycle riders and pedestrians, and the number of car accidents involving the misuse of alcohol.

Sacramento also ranked extremely high for alcohol related auto accidents, as well as registering the absolute highest rate among California’s major cities for injuries in car crashes involving motorists in the 21 to 34-year-old age group.

Nationwide, the general trend on highway deaths is down, and Sacramento also fared well on that measure, with the total number of auto crash injuries and deaths decreasing to 3,468 for the fifth year in a row, a 23 percent decline since 2006. Car crashes involving injury in which alcohol played a factor dropped in the city by 32 percent since 2006, to a new low of 326.

While experts failed to pinpoint specific reasons causing Sacramento’s generally poorer traffic safety record in comparison to other large California cities, police there noted that their ability to patrol traffic had been compromised by budget limitations.

Other highlights of the study include a determination that Sacramento is the third highest city on a list of California large municipalities suffering accidents in which motorists hit bicycle riders. Unsurprisingly, the statistics show that Sacramento County, therefore has a high rate of crashes involving injuries, encompassing those in which motorist’s vehicles come into contact with either kids on bicycles or individuals walking.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Sacramento again has worst crash rating of California’s largest cities,” Tony Bizjak, April 6, 2012